The effect of values toward repurchase intentions of natural personal care products

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
78 + 5
The market for ethical and natural personal care products (PCPs) is growing rapidly as consumers have become increasingly aware of environmental and animal welfare issues in the personal care industry, as well as more concerned for their own health. Although positive attitudes towards ethical consumption have increased, purchase behavior has not increased at the same rate. As personal values are guiding principles in people’s lives, they have proved to have an impact on consumers’ purchase intentions, especially in the case of ethical consumption. For marketers to create successful marketing strategies, it is imperative to understand the values of their consumers and how it affects purchase intentions. This master’s thesis studies consumers’ repurchase intentions toward natural PCPs from a value theory perspective and offers insights about the values and attitudes of natural PCP consumers and about barriers which may affect consumption. Theoretical contributions are made with the combination of Schwartz’s (1992) Theory of Human Values and Ajzen’s (1991) Theory of Planned Behavior in a conceptual framework. In addition, this study expands the research of natural PCP consumption and values to a new context of Finnish consumers. This study answers the research questions ‘What values do consumers of natural PCPs hold and how do those values explain attitudes toward natural PCPs?’, ‘How does the Theory of Planned Behavior explain repurchase intention toward natural PCPs?’ and ‘How do barriers to consumption explain differences in repurchase intentions toward natural PCPs?’. The results were analyzed utilizing existing literature and insights gathered from data collected via a survey for natural PCP consumers (n=676), distributed in November 2022. Quantitative research methods such as factor, cluster and multiple regression analyses were used to interpret the data. This research both confirms and challenges findings from previous literature. The results indicate that six different value categories can be identified (self-transcendence, self-enhancement, openness to change, conformity, hedonism, and secure self-direction) from which four distinct consumer groups can be identified (selfless shoppers, non-conformist consumers, responsible achievers, and health-conscious indulgers). The results also indicate that only self-transcendence values and secure self-direction values explain variance in attitudes toward natural PCPs. Furthermore, attitudes and perceived behavioral control are found to explain variance in repurchase intentions. Lastly, this research identifies three barriers to consumption: price, quality, and consumer skepticism. The findings of the research provide valuable managerial implications for both commercial and non-commercial actors in the natural PCP industry in Finland. Understanding underlying values and attitudes behind consumers’ repurchase intentions helps marketers target their offering more accurately. This thesis also provides further avenues for future research in this topic.
Thesis advisor
Kajalo, Sami
ethical consumption, consumer values, value theory, repurchase intentions, natural cosmetics, natural PCPs, consumer behavior, barriers to consumption
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